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Issue 12, 2017
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Fast and low-noise tunnelling current measurements for single-molecule detection in an electrolyte solution using insulator-protected nanoelectrodes

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Abstract

Reliable ways of DNA sequencing by tunnelling current require low-noise and high-speed measurements of tunnelling current in aqueous environments. Here we report a use of insulator-protected nanoprobes for achieving 7.6 pA rms noise at 50 kHz sampling rates in an electrolyte solution. We utilized dielectric-covered mechanically-controllable break junctions to create a pair of nano-exposed insulator/Au coaxial electrodes closely separated by 1 nm. We observed insulator layer thickness dependent noise levels, which was attributed to decreased capacitance through replacing capacitive electric double layers by the low-k dielectrics. We also demonstrated the detection of sharpened features in tunnelling current signatures that reflect dynamic motions of single-nucleotides in the electrode gaps by virtue of suppressed smearing effects in the low-capacitance nanoelectrode system.

Graphical abstract: Fast and low-noise tunnelling current measurements for single-molecule detection in an electrolyte solution using insulator-protected nanoelectrodes

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Publication details

The article was received on 29 Nov 2016, accepted on 04 Jan 2017 and first published on 05 Jan 2017


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C6NR09278K
Citation: Nanoscale, 2017,9, 4076-4081
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    Fast and low-noise tunnelling current measurements for single-molecule detection in an electrolyte solution using insulator-protected nanoelectrodes

    T. Morikawa, K. Yokota, M. Tsutsui and M. Taniguchi, Nanoscale, 2017, 9, 4076
    DOI: 10.1039/C6NR09278K

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